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N°32 I quarterly I january 2014 CNRS Networks | 35 w Europe The EU’s latest Framework Programme for Research and Innovation sets industrial leadership and societal challenges as priorities. Horizon 2020 Starts Now BY Claire Debôves Last July, after 18 months of fierce negotiations, the representatives of the EU member states reached an agreement on the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Called Horizon 2020, it follows up on the 7th Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), and sets three priorities: scientific excellence, industrial leadership, and societal challenges. The official launch date was set to January 1, 2014, although the first calls for proposals were already submitted in mid-December last year. Due to national budget restrictions, obtaining EU funding for research has become a strategic priority for every member state. “Yet the EU should not solely be viewed as a funding body,” says Günther Hahne, head of the CNRS Europe office in Brussels. “Participating in an EU project means tapping into a wider pool of knowledge, learning through contacts with other researchers, and measuring up to international standards.” Endowed with a budget of €70.2 billion, Horizon 2020 is an essential component of the European Union’s strategy for fostering “intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive” growth. The cornerstone of this long-term ambition, “scientific excellence” is the first priority of the new EU program, as evidenced by the doubling of the budget devoted to the European Research Council, which allocates individual research grants. Having a wider reach than FP7, Horizon 2020 integrates the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Innovation, which is the second priority of Horizon 2020, will receive greater support, from experimental stages to the first commercial applications, especially for key generic technologies like micro- and nanoelectronics, industrial biotechnology, and photonics. “The program’s third priority is to meet societal needs through research and innovation,” Hahne continues. To this end, the EU seeks to fund interdisciplinary projects designed to tackle crucial economic and social challenges like climate change, demographic evolution, and new energies. Geared toward “problem solving,” the structure of the new program represents a significant change from its predecessors, which were more discipline-oriented. Contact information: CNRS office, Brussels. Günther Hahne > gunther.hahne@cnrs-dir.fr strengthening ties with mexico w During his official visit to Mexico last October, CNRS Chief research officer Joël Bertrand met Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, director of CONACYT1, to set up and renew several collaborations with that country. An International Associated Laboratory (LIA) in chemistry, called LCMMC , was created. It focuses on molecular chemistry and its applications to materials and catalysis. The LIA brings together the Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse (France) and five Mexican partners.2 Also on this occasion, two structured collaborations between CNRS and Mexican organizations were renewed, namely the LIA LA ISLA in mathematics, and the International Joint Laboratory (UM I) LAFM IA in computer sciences and automatic control. 01. Consejo nacional de ciencia y tecnología. 02. U niversidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM ), Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV ), Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica (Léon, Guanajuato), Universidad Iberoamericana, and Universidad autónoma del estado de Morelos (UAEM ). © K. Sch ykulski /cola gene .co m pour CNRS le journal


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